Light is Autopoietic Life

Scott Virden Anderson Blog

Continuing to reflect on the middle range of the SummaTime Scale — the Electromagnetic domain — I saw this morning that light might exactly fit the description that Kent has given of an autopoetic system composed of two coupled dissipative systems.

We learn in physics that the electric and the magnetic vectors of light are quite precisely that (although they are typically described as simply orthogonal waves, each is most elegantly descirbed using complex numbers (one part real, one part “imaginary”)).

I’m suggesting that the electric wave component and the magnetic wave component are each dissipative systems in their own right (we’ll have to see if this is correct, I’m not certain it is).

If it is, then we’d have an alignment of light, autopoeitic system, quaternion (“hyper-complex”) algebra (one part real, three parts “imaginary”), on the objective side, with life and its associated subjective experience of “energy” on the subjective side.

This further suggests that an updated and full quaternionic description of light might open up new kinds of phenomena, lost in the translation of Maxwell’s Equations to vector notation, that would open new vistas for “subtle energy research.”

This will likely be the main focus of my efforts for some time to come — how might this come to pass.

Meanwhile, since complex numbers have turned out to be such key tools for science and engineering, its not much of a stretch to argue that this is essentially because they have facilitated a practical understanding of the dissipative (material) systems found throughout nature.

Complex numbers are typically introduced as an elegant way to analyze and describe waves of various kinds.  What I’m proposing is that this is true, but only for waves as dissipative (material) systems.

I’m proposing that such systems predominate only in the outer third of the SummaTime Scale.

(An open question for me at this point is whether Hakken’s Synergetics is not “just” a sophisticated version of this level of understanding of dynamical systems — ditto maybe for Wolfram’s NKS.)

What this means, however, is that there is another distinct “level” of engineering that is focused on autopoietic (photonic) systems.

And just maybe “photonic engineers,” despite all the remarkable advances we’ve seen in the past 100 years in electronics, lasers, and “applied quantum electrodynamics,” have been working with one hand tied behind their backs as a result of having an incomplete or watered down version of EM based on the vector notation.

What this also means is that there is yet a third horizon for engineering in the Reflexive domain where systems are, according to Kent, composed of two coupled autopoietic systems, to be best described by the ultra-hyper-complex algebra of the octonion (one part real, seven parts “imaginary”).

Where do we find paired and coherent photons?  They’ll have to be “virtual photons” because in the upper reaches of the STS photons would have to be too energetic to be actual.  Or maybe they’ll be “mentons” or some such new phenomenon.

Maybe we’ll discover that the “new” Mathematica announced today facilitates this gradual hyper-complexification of our engineering.

In any case, likely best we stay focused in our Yoga lest this Beast of Engineering get out of the cage entirely.